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Archive for the ‘cycle racing’ Category

MAJOR New Report on “Active Travel”

Posted by chdot on March 26, 2010

The Scottish Parliament Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee has just reported on its “Inquiry into Active Travel”. (Call for submissions)

A wide range of organisations and individuals contributed evidence. The report calls on the Scottish Government to act in many areas and explicitly says that without significant action (and money) there is no change of the SG’s target of 10% of journeys by bike by 2020 being remotely possible.

Benefits of investment in active travel

191. Alex Macaulay of SEStran expressed the view that “the capital cost of providing for good-quality active travel is relatively modest compared to other major transport investment.” He went on to say that “…it seems to me to be a no-brainer that in times when money is tight we should put it where we will get a bigger bang for our buck.”

The concluding sentence in the report is – “Stronger, more effective and sustained leadership is required from the Scottish Government in order to implement improvements to walking and cycling policies in Scotland.”

http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/s3/committees/ticc/reports-10/trr10-04.htm

Will Scottish Ministers – for Finance, Transport, Health, Education etc. actually sit down together to discuss this document?

Will Alex Salmond ever ride a bike?

Posted in Active Travel, bike shops, Bike Week, Bikes on trains, City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, Climate Change, commuting, Core Path Network, critical mass, Curriculum for Excellence, cycle parking, cycle racing, cycle training, cyclestreets.net, Cycling News, Cycling Scotland, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Demonstration Towns, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, Forth Bridge Route Campaign, Peak Oil, Physical Activity and Health, Safe Routes to School, Spokes, Sustrans, walking | Leave a Comment »

Be Part of Cycling History for £25

Posted by chdot on January 10, 2010

Edinburgh born cycling historian and writer, Andrew Ritchie, is planning to self-publish his next book.

And he’s looking for 100 people to pledge to buy it.

Of course the book’s subtitle may put people off – “Bicycle Racing: Sport, Technology and Modernity, 1867 – 1903”

The title may not appeal either “Quest for Speed“. The knowledge that it is a “substantially revised version of my doctoral dissertation, ‘Bicycle Racing and Recreation: Sport, Technology and Modernity, 1867 – 1903′”, may convince you to keep your pledge in your pocket.

But wait: This is an extract from the abstract (FULL version and details of all chapters) –

Quest for Speed provides a chronological, developmental, historical account of the emergence of bicycle racing and bicycle technology between 1867 and 1903, focusing to a large extent on Britain, but also investigating France and the United States as the two other major players. As a social and cultural history, it gives an outline of the social and institutional organization of cycling and the wider cultural, economic and technological context of the sport. In doing so, it tackles themes of class, nationality, industry and commerce, the press, speed, and the physical capacities of the human body, and also the nature and definition of ‘modernity’.

Even that might sound a bit dry, but the book will be well illustrated – Andrew is an accomplished cycling image researcher. (He fell out with a prospective publisher who balked at the number of proposed illustrations.)

His first book King of the Road has the following on the back cover –

“Andrew Ritchie, himself a passionate cyclist, has widely researched little know collections of pictures, and has found many fascinating books, articles and documents on the early days of the bicycle and its changing design and social importance. Ultimately, he argues, the history of the bicycle has only just begun and it could provide an answer to many of today’s crucial transportation problems.”

That was written 35 years ago.

Maybe it’s beginning to come true…

You can be part of cycling history by promising to buy this book – the first 100 people will have their names in the first (limited edition) print run.

Send an e-mail to jabritchie@hotmail.com and contain your excitement for a few months. Your coffee table will have to wait too.

Posted in Books, citycycling, Climate Change, commuting, critical mass, CTC, cycle racing, Cycling News, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, Glasgow, History, Physical Activity and Health, Sheldon Brown, technology | Leave a Comment »

New On-line Forum for Edinburgh

Posted by chdot on November 19, 2009

CyclingEdinburgh.info and CityCycling (the Edinburgh based monthly on-line cycling magazine) have teamed up to create CityCyclingEdinburgh.info – a new forum “for people who cycle in and around Edinburgh” (though a wider view is welcome).

The idea is to create a site where any aspect of cycling (and particularly encouraging more of it) can be ‘discussed’, questions asked – and answered.

Various forum headings have been created but they are not definitive. The forum is designed to develop as more people register and post (including you? – please tell your friends). Anyone can view but registration needed before posting – just a username and e-mail (not publicly revealed).

Rules are simple “No personal insults. No swearing”. That’s working so far.

Posted in Active Travel, citycycling, Climate Change, Core Path Network, cycle parking, cycle racing, cycle training, cyclestreets.net, Cycling News, Cycling Scotland, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, ERC, HEALTH, Maps, Physical Activity and Health, ride, Safe Routes to School, Spokes, Sustrans, TryCycling | 3 Comments »

Cycle Speedway Action Retry

Posted by chdot on November 5, 2009


Last Sunday’s planned cycle speedway open session was severely rained off. The track was only suitable for seagulls.

Edinburgh Falcons will be hoping for better weather this Sunday (8th) – currently (Friday morning) the forecast is quite promising.

If it’s not raining too much why not ride along to Redbraes and take part (bikes and equipment provided) or watch the fun.

“Start time is 1pm with a registration period open from 12:30pm”

Posted in Active Travel, ChangingPace, City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, Core Path Network, cycle racing, cycle training, Cycling News, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, ERC, openstreetmap, paths, Physical Activity and Health, ride, Safety | 4 Comments »

Try Speedway on Sunday

Posted by chdot on October 26, 2009

Robert Bandoszs


Photo of new Falcons signing 19 year-old Polish rider
Robert Bandosz

Scotland’s only cycle speedway team Edinburgh Falcons is staging an open session at the Redbraes Park track (Broughton Road by the Powderhall refuse depot MAP) on Sunday (1st November).

The event is “primarily aimed at attracting new riders to Cycle Speedway”. Registration from 12:30pm with events starting at 1pm.

In recent years the Falcons have raced in a UK league, but for the 2010 season the plan is to concentrate on the local league and developing more young riders – including some who turned up to the fun event earlier this year.

The session is open to all ages and all equipment will be supplied. Fast, furious and fun – if you don’t fancy racing it’s great to watch.

Posted in City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, Core Path Network, cycle racing, cycle training, Cycling News, Cycling Scotland, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, HEALTH, paths, Physical Activity and Health, ride | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Meet the Cycling Author

Posted by chdot on October 4, 2009

Chris Hoy book

Edinburgh sports journalist and bike book writer Richard Moore will be live at the Portobello Book Festival on Saturday.

The fact that he raced himself (including being in Scotland’s 1998 Commonwealth Games team) has greatly helped him with insights into the top riders he has written about.

His first book was about the great, enigmatic, Scottish, Tour de France stage winner Robert Millar. In Search of Robert Millar was far from authorised, Robert could reasonably be described as a recluse – though he did answer some of Richard’s e-mailed questions. The result won Best Biography in the 2008 British Sports Book Awards.

His second book was about another top level Scottish racer, with a much higher public profile. Heroes, Villains and Velodromes: Chris Hoy and Britain’s Track Cycling Revolution chronicled the story of a BMX boy’s development into a medal winning trackman. It was published in 2008, and was very much a ‘story in progress’ and included the eye witnessed report of Chris’ trip to Bolivia in pursuit of the 1Km record.

Entertaining new video (made from stills) has recently appeared on the web.

Clearly Chris liked the book enough to tell his tales to Richard for a brand new book. (Words by Chris, tidying up by Richard.)

Officially published on the 15th Chris Hoy: the Autobiography is expected to be available at Richard’s free talk in Portobello Library (3.00 – 4.30 Sat. 10th Oct). Tickets available in advance from the Library (max. 2 per person).

Posted in Chris Hoy, City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, cycle racing, Cycling News, Cycling Scotland, cycling world, Edinburgh, Meadowbank Velodrome, Physical Activity and Health, ride | 1 Comment »

Government Relies on Spokes Statistics

Posted by chdot on August 5, 2009

SPICe

UPDATE: A civil servant has suggested that the headline should say “Holyrood Relies on Spokes Statistics”. “Cycling in Scotland” is produced by the Scottish Parliament not the Scottish Government. It’s assumed that the report’s author looked for statistics from the SG first. It’s also assumed that the SG relies on the best available statistics. If there are better statistics than those compiled by Spokes, Spokes would be keen to have them.

SPICe, the Scottish Parliament Information Centre, has published a concise briefing document titled “Cycling in Scotland”. Many of the statistics quoted have come from Spokes (The Lothian  Cycle Campaign).

Not only does it indicate that Spokes’ surveys of spending on cycling in Scotland are regarded as comprehensive/accurate, it also suggests that no-one in Government is keeping their own tally!

The figures have been compiled for many years by Dave du Feu who has doggedly dealt with Local Authorities – collecting survey answers and compiling the results (and interpreting where necessary). Most Scottish LAs supply information. Getting details from the Government is more difficult.

As “Cycling in Scotland” indicates

Transport Scotland told SPOKES that it was impossible to disentangle the cycle element of trunk road expenditure, but later told Mike Pringle MSP that it amounted to £2m for financial year 2007-2008, so it is assumed that this amount is spent each year on cycle related projects”

This is a footnote from the detailed table produced by Spokes, but its inclusion in this briefing document is significant. As Spokes reports on its own web site “The Spice Research Briefings are intended as impartial documents to inform MSPs and others involved in the work of the Scottish Parliament. They are independent research publications for the entire Parliament, not decided by or controlled by the party which is in government.”

Overall “Cycling in Scotland” is useful background information for MSPs, campaigners and anyone interested in encouraging more people to cycle. Usefully it distinguishes between the two key areas of cycling as they relate to Government policies –

Cycling takes two main forms:

• a form of transport

• a sport, including track and road cycling, mountain biking, BMX, cycle speedway and cyclo-cross

and explains:

This short briefing focuses on cycling as a form of transport. It outlines the legislative and policy framework governing cycling, identifies key organisations and provides cycling related statistics. It goes on to look at sources of funding for cycling projects and the national cycle network.”

This is a useful division and highlights the convention that cycling is either ‘transport’ or ‘sport’. However it is likely that in future a third division will be necessary/desirable.

It is increasingly being recognised that exercise is necessary for good health – physical and mental. There’s a lot of discussion about diet and obesity. Chris Hoy is “Scotland’s first ambassador for mental health“. But money for ‘cycling’ largely comes from ‘transport’ or ‘sport’.

It is quite reasonable to encourage people to cycle to school, shops, work etc. and (as much as possible) record statistics for this, but it probably largely misses the people who cycle for a bit of exercise or to take their kids along a cycle path to the swing park – or just for the fun of cycling!

More importantly the emphasis on ‘transport’ and ‘sport’ perhaps makes it harder to get to people (statistically the majority) who hardly ever cycle – and get the funding to try to encourage them to cycle.

Cycling in Scotland highlights the CAPS (Cycle Action Plan Scotland) process. This is a comprehensive look at ways to increase cycling in Scotland. (YOU can contribute until the 20th of August.) This paragraph outlines some of the intentions

3. For people to have the confidence and the right information to make cycling a realistic choice for some journeys: Provide access to adult and child cycle training and cycle maintenance courses with well trained instructors. Promote the bike-to-work scheme and encourage employers and education providers to become cycle friendly. Produce cycle network maps and an online cycle journey planner.

“Cycling in Scotland” also manages to highlight Spokes’ concerns about funding and future commitment to funding.

Unusually, the CAPS consultation draft was launched without a Scottish Government press release or ministerial statement. Perhaps as a consequence of this, there has been almost no media interest or public comment by stakeholders. However, from what comment there has been it seems that the policy intentions of the consultation draft of CAPS have been welcomed, although concerns have been raised about whether they are backed by sufficient funding. For example Dave du Feu, lead organiser for SPOKES, has stated that “There’s good stuff in the action plan but if they’re not going to spend anything until 2011 – and even then there’s no guarantee that they will – I can’t see it making any difference” (The Herald 2009)

Perhaps the time has come to look beyond ‘transport’ or ‘sport’ for funding. Aren’t ‘health’ and ‘wellbeing’ the main responsibilities of the NHS?

Posted in Active Travel, Airdrie to Bathgate, Art, Bicycle Film Festival, bike security theft, bike shops, Bike Week, Bikes on trains, BikeStation, bikeweek, ChangingPace, Chris Hoy, City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, Climate Change, commuting, Core Path Network, Craigmillar Cycles, critical mass, CTC, cycle parking, cycle racing, cycle training, Cycling News, Cycling on the Radio, Cycling on TV, Cycling Scotland, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Demonstration Towns, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, ERC, European Moblity Week, Food, Forth Bridge Route Campaign, Glasgow, HEALTH, holidays, Maps, Meadowbank Velodrome, paths, Peak Oil, Physical Activity and Health, ride, Safe Routes to School, Safety, Spokes, Sustrans, technology, TryCycling, walking, What the papers say | Leave a Comment »

Bike Week Film Festival Starts Today

Posted by chdot on June 11, 2009


Edinburgh’s Filmhouse plays host to the Bike Week Film Festival for the 4th time this year. 

Tonight there’s the chance to see Dave Sowerby’s sensational YouTube video hit, Inspired Bicycles, showing off the exploits of talented Edinburgh based rider Danny MacAskill on the big screen.

Danny is on a non-stop 24 day tour demonstrating his skills in person, but Dave is expected to attend. 

The main event is Mark Huskisson’s film Home which “combines a celebration of mountain biking with a passion for shooting in stunning landscapes”.

Afterwards Chris Ball of Dirtschool (who appears in Home) will lead a discussion on cycling – in Scotland (audience participation welcome).

Posted in Active Travel, Bicycle Film Festival, Bike Week, bikeweek, ChangingPace, citycycling, Climate Change, commuting, Core Path Network, cycle parking, cycle racing, cycle training, Cycling News, Cycling Scotland, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, EducatedTravel, TryCycling | Leave a Comment »

Cycle Speedway International Comes to Edinburgh

Posted by chdot on June 10, 2009

Cycle Speedway posters
Scotland’s only Cycle Speedway club, Edinburgh Falcons CSC, is hosting the Home International on Saturday.

Teams from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales will compete elbow to elbow, (it’s a contact sport), at the red bleas Rebraes track (map).

Thrills and spills in fast four lap heats.

Tapes up 2.00 (admission FREE).

Posted in Bike Week, bikeweek, citycycling, cycle racing, Cycling News, Cycling Scotland, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, Physical Activity and Health | Leave a Comment »

citycycling .issue 48 – Now Online

Posted by chdot on June 5, 2009

Includes participant’s report on last Saturday’s folding bike race.

Posted in Active Travel, City of Edinburgh Council, citycycling, commuting, cycle racing, Cycling News, Cycling Scotland, cycling world, cyclingedinburgh, Edinburgh, ERC, Exhibition, Physical Activity and Health | Leave a Comment »